I found this sentence on Jisho.org recently:

What happened to this place?! It's completely dead!

I am baffled as to why there is a small ッ in the middle of 完全. The furigana provided ignores it, and I would be surprised if it were a typo because it is in the middle of a word with kanji. I've never seen anything like this before.

Is the small ッ supposed to affect the pronunciation of the word? Why is it there?

  • I've never seen this in writing either, but I figure it indicates a mid-word pause for emphasis, which is something you often hear in speech - and the sentence is clearly colloquial, given the どーすんの at the beginning. (Sort of like やはり→やっぱり, though of course やっぱり is lexicalized while かんっぜん isn't.)
    – senshin
    Nov 25, 2015 at 21:16
  • 1
    By the way, I think the idiom is usually 閑古鳥が鳴く, not 閑古鳥が鳴る.
    – user1478
    Nov 26, 2015 at 1:20

1 Answer 1


When っ is placed in the middle of a word, it's showing an elongation/stress for emphasis.

For starters, this appears in many common words not written in kanji, notably:

すっごい (even すっげー), from 凄{すご}い

やっぱり, from やはり

In a lot of colloquial Japanese, っ serves as a small hiccup (in reality a geminated consonant, or sometimes a glottal stop), and is used very commonly for emphasis. Perhaps you've heard some of the following:


I don't understand AT ALL. (emphasis that you understand 0% of what's being said)


NO WAY! (emphasis that it's totally out of the question)

In your example, we see the same thing as above -- ッ is added between the kanji (almost as an okurigana) showing that the speaker is stretching out (and slightly straining) the ん sound in かんぜん, which gives the effect of emphasizing that it really is 完全に.

Showing where the emphasis lies:


What happened to this place?! It's TOTALLY dead!

It's hard to explain the っ, but I found a good example that came to mind. In https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6A_pU1Tdhjo#t=2m15s, Hatoko (the pink haired girl) says "全ッ然わかんない" right after where I set the timestamp. Hopefully it gives a clear idea of what the ッ sounds like here, and in 完ッ全.

  • やっぱり might be a slightly different phenomenon - the lengthening makes it fit the ◯っ◯り adverb pattern seen in things like こっそり or はっきり.
    – Sjiveru
    Nov 25, 2015 at 23:23

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